The Guile - The Guile
Record Label: Datapanik Records
Release Date: September, 2008
I have spent a lot of time listening to The Guile’s self titled debut, and even more time trying to review it. It is just hard thinking of how to describe the 7”. When you get down to it, a generic label for the band would be punk, but to leave it just at that would be too easy. The Guile is anything but a banal punk record. The instrumentation on the album stays interesting throughout, and there is not a dull second. Of course, the record is only four short songs long, so it leaves little room for redundancy, but either way, I never felt the need to flip it to get to a different track.
The record kicks off with “Thinking Big, Living Small,” an anthem to procrastination and wasting time. The vocal delivery here showcases what’s to come in the record: clean, harmonic vocals that soar. What easily could have been sung in a hackneyed scruffy voice is belted in an impressive range. Next comes “Chaos and Stupidity,” a faster track full of energy and a very well placed solo. The outro to the song provides a great segue into the side B.
Side B begins with a very laid back introduction on “Lady Liberty’s Tits” before launching into a swirl of animosity for the rest of the track. The Guile’s lyrics aren’t the most profound, but they sell them by singing with sincere emotion. The record closes with “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” the slowest yet most impressive song on the album. Slow guitar is laid over a swooning horn, and as the drums kick in a la a drum line, the track begins to crescendos into what eventually becomes an awesome climax, and a great end to this short record.
Really, the only downsides to the album are the production and the run time. It's pretty raw, which works in some parts but just drowns out the vocals in other parts. Overall, it's a really well done first effort from The Guile, and I look forward to seeing more releases from them in the future.
RIYL: Black Flag sans the hardcore influences, punk